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June 2020 Exhibit

June 2020 Exhibit
My Harmless Little Monsters    
Linden


We are excited to welcome back long time Astoria artist Linden who has returned to her roots. Known for her evocative abstracted paintings Linden brings a whimsical collection of new ink and watercolor paintings for her third solo show at Imogen. This series, My Harmless Little Monsters is exemplary of her exploration of process and experience through intuitive painting. The exhibition open Saturday, June 13 and will be on view through July 7th. We will be open Saturday, June 13 12:00 – 5:00.
Linden’s current series, My Harmless Little Monsters is a delightful collection of mostly paintings on paper.  She infuses her warm and welcoming palette with subtle constructed drawing elements depicting curious creatures from her own fantasy world. Portraying joyful personality within her abstractions, each piece is sure to delight with lightness and a strong sense of play. For Linden her finished compositions are all about her process, beginning to end. Painting for her has become a sort of ritual or meditation, allowing her psyche to flow from her subconscious to whatever drawing and/or painting implement she might be holding in hand to then find its place on paper. Her lines provide connection from one point of substrate to the other, carefully held together by sheer and luminous use of color. Some of her compositions contain elements of story while others lead back to bursts of pigment freely moving across the page. 
 About her current series and her process she states:
 “This body of work represents a huge milestone in my creative life. I finally feel settled enough
emotionally and physically to just 'let 'er rip'. As much as others think making art is simple and easily
done, I'm here to say: Not so much. The Creative Process is one of the most complex and compelling endeavors we can undertake. I liken it to both self-administered brain surgery and psychoanalysis.
And yet, we can't NOT do it.”
 
Linden conveys thought and idea through abstraction, allowing her the freedom to thoroughly explore the visual language by reducing forms to suggestion of content.  Her goal is to allow the viewer to participate in her process of analogy and perception. These works display a fresh boldness that seem to jump from surface, while still honoring past influences and input. 
 
Beginning her studies at Clatsop Community College, Linden sites the late instructors and founders of the CCC art department Royal Nebeker and Roy Garrison as instrumental in her development as a fine artist. She continued her studies at Pacific Northwest College of Art where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts, focusing both on painting and sculpture. Relocating to the Bay Area in the late 90’s, Linden continued her career while also teaching.  In Benicia, California she founded a school dedicated to the education of all fine art practices for all ages. Linden opened the school under the premise that “the innate creativity that we have as children isn't ever really lost. It just needs to be fed so it can blossom."  The Linden Tree is still in operation today with the same mission that Linden founded it under. She has exhibited throughout the northwest as well further locales, including Chicago.  She began her local exhibition career at the former Ricciardi Art Gallery in 1996. Some of her accomplishments include a “Juror’s Award” for sculpture created for the 2003 Journey’s End International Art Exhibition held at Clatsop County Heritage Museum. Her paintings have been juried into the 12th Around Oregon Annual exhibition held at the Art Center in Corvallis, OR by Martha Lee, director and owner of Russo Lee Gallery in Portland, OR.  Her work is included in the permanent collection of Clatsop Community College, Pacific Northwest College of Art and the Astoria Public Library. 
 
As we are all adjusting to a new normal along with health needs of our community we will be working hard to keep the space clean. We also ask that visitors wear face masks, if you don’t have one we are happy to provide one for you. We are also available by appointment for private viewing if that feels more comfortable. And as always the exhibition can be viewed online via our website, imogengallery.com
 

May 2020 Exhibit

May 2020 Exhibit
Don Frank

The Summer of Letters
In this time where nothing is as it was, many of us are reflecting on what really matters in life. The importance of friends and family while navigating challenging times together but apart seems to be our common denominator. So, as they say….”The show must go on.” And with that we are pleased to present a solo exhibition for the talented North Coast photographer, Don Frank. Known for his compelling and sometimes quirky compositions of the coastal region, Frank brings a new series of work which includes photographic based imagery as well as three dimensional wall hung pieces. Summer of Letters is a collection of work inspired directly by Frank’s love of golf applied to the philosophy of life. The exhibition can be viewed online via our website imogengallery.com or by appointment for in person viewing, May 9th through June 9th.

Artists have always taken a strong role in narrating the complexity of life, providing a window to safely step back from day to day challenges in order to ease the burden that reality can bring. Don Frank, known regionally for his compelling sense of composition, has always tended to bring what might be considered the more obscure to the foreground. His slightly sardonic worldview seeps into powerful imagery that lends to good storytelling. For this series, he delves deep into the world of golf to consider the parallels between the game and life itself. He brings witty commentary within his altered photographic imagery of golf courses, scratched photographs as he refers to them, as well as sculptural pieces utilizing reclaimed remnants from the game.

In discussing his thoughts behind the content of the series as well as the game of golf itself Frank states:It is interminably difficult yet easy at the same time.  If one thing goes right, ten things can go wrong. Or vice versa. Many who play compare it to the struggle of daily life: exhilarating, disappointing, confusing, overwhelming, inspiring…  And those are just the swing thoughts as one brings the club back. In reality, it doesn’t mean anything. Golf is simply an exercise in being human and at the end, if you care, you count up what you’ve done and measure yourself against your peers and foes. Like life, does it really matter? That depends on the person playing, or living.”  
 
For this exhibition, Frank explores his ideas through the lens of his camera, bringing the beauty of landscape within his photographs of many of the golf courses he has visited. Always looking for new ways to express his creative ideas, Frank alters his photographs to personalize them, adding a rough touch to an otherwise pristine and controlled landscape. He adds quotes that are wry, colloquial, or relate to the absurdity of golf and life. This roughness is echoed with his foray into the sculptural realm. He chose to utilize discarded remnants from the game itself to create beautiful and raw patterns of color and texture. About his three dimensional pieces he states: “These objects are the detritus of the game. The tee markers signal where to begin. The flags tell you where to end. But nothing is permanent and each item has a life span until it is deemed unusable. Sound familiar? But there is hope, like waking each morning with the optimism that today will be a great day on or off the course. People can be granted second chances to fulfill their purpose and these pieces of golf’s machinations can too. The game of life will trudge forward to that steady drum of existence that can only be experienced, not explained.”
 
Frank has enjoyed a career that has taken his work across the country both in galleries and in private collections, including the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago and the Center for Fine Art Photography in Colorado.  

Imogen Gallery is currently closed to walk in clientele. Private viewing by appointment is available. Please follow us online via Facebook and Instagram and check our website for the full exhibition. We can be contacted through our website, email imogengallery@gmail.com or by phone 503.468.0620. And please support your favorite artists.
 

April 2020 Exhibit

April 2020 Exhibit
April Coppini

Inescapable Gaze
In a time of uncertainty there is one thing that does remain certain; art is a necessity in our lives. With that in mind, we invite you to reach into alternative resources to participate and engage with art. Tune into your favorite radio station, listen from the comfort of your own dwelling to online concerts, share that poem that brings you comfort and connection, and view those exhibitions you’d normally visit in a gallery or museum online. Your favorite artists are still out there, creating and communicating, albeit from alternative platforms. Artists have always been generous in what they do, whether that is to connect what’s good about humanity, or record an imprint of challenging times. They create and share with the goal of easing burden, fear, and struggle; to uplift and bring peace to the unknown. With that said, we present an exhibition by internationally respected artist April Coppini.  Inescapable Gaze will be available for viewing online or by appointment April 11 – May 5.

Coppini, known for her passionate interest in all creatures and their importance to place, brings a series of gorgeously rendered charcoal drawings. She portrays a focused record in her subject matter depicting the wild and unseen side of animalia. A slight tension of muscle before a possible leap, or the look of pensive awareness in preparation for escape from a possible predator, are all elegantly conveyed through beautiful and gestural mark making. With the underlying message of the importance of all creatures and their independent role to ecosystem and/or as pollinators, predators, scavengers or even domesticated animals, Coppini asks the viewer to consider the role our species takes (or doesn’t) in protecting the delicate relationship between mankind and animal as well as a direct reminder of our symbiotic relationship to all life on a global level. Coppini states: “We humans have this role as stewards, if not because most of the ecological difficulties we’re experiencing are human-caused, but because that's who we are. We are caretakers by nature. A duty that as a species connected to all other living things on this planet, we have (mostly) abused and/or neglected. We also have capacity for greatness and beauty. A calling to responsibility and redemption. I feel this tipping point we are coming to in my heart, in my body, my spirit, in the shifting energy of my work and in the frenetic, tumultuous energy of the world right now (ecologically, politically, socially). I feel the other species we share the planet with turning their gaze to us, as stewards, in our moment, to see; what will we do?”

Coppini tends to focus primarily on charcoal for her chosen medium because of “its immediacy and forgiving nature”.  For her, the starkness of black on white strikes a basic and guttural cord. Within this series there are several pieces that include color, pure blocks as background which  help to define emotive qualities or even echo elements of subject matter while still allowing for the dominant line of charcoal do its work. The stark juxtaposition lends to the overall power and drama conveyed in each piece.

Coppini has also taken great interest in the rapid disappearance of honey bees, also known as “colony collapse disorder”.   As a result she has created over 1000 drawings of bees.  Her hopes in this practice is to create awareness of the significance bumble bees have on mankind.   In her own words, Coppini states, “I believe, foolishly or not, in the possibilities of the human race.  I believe the act of being called on to make these drawings is something that comes from a force bigger than us.  Its stating, here’s what needs attention, listen to the fables being told here.  What we do next, what happens to all the imperiled species is, quite literally, up in the air.”  Coppini has taken the cause to heart, not only by creating her luscious drawings of bumble bees in flight, but also donating a portion of the sale of each bee drawing to the Xerces Society for pollination research and conservation.
 

March 2020 Exhibition

March 2020 Exhibition
Mutualism

Kim Hamblin and Christopher Wagner

Imogen Gallery is pleased to be presenting a two person exhibition for artists Kim Hamblin and Christopher Wagner. Linked by a common background in farming, the two bring a series of work inspired by elements important to the lifestyle. Based from personal experiences they explore connectivity of mankind to nature. Mutualism is a close look through metaphor about the relationship between man and horticulture. The exhibition opens for Astoria’s Second Saturday Artwalk, March 14th, 5 – 8 pm.  Mutualism will remain on display through April 7th.
Working in two distinctly different mediums but sharing the common element of a cutting tool, Hamblin and Wagner bring a new series depicting elements important to the farming culture combined with a common interest in animals, both domesticated and wild, as well as plant life. By definition mutualism is:                                                                    a) the doctrine that mutual dependence is necessary to social well-being      b) symbiosis that is beneficial to both organisms involved. 

With that in mind Kim Hamblin brings a new collection of her intricate hand cut paper assemblages exploring her ongoing interest in connectivity between flora and fauna and the ensuing dialogue with humans. She brings complex compositions that visually narrate her passionate plea for all to consider on the loss of species and habitat.  Christopher Wagner provides newly carved and painted reclaimed wood sculpture depicting man's relationship with animals, some of which are exploited while others are protected. He utilizes his personal experiences with animals to illustrate the direct link between man and domesticated animal and the symbiotic relationship that ensues.

Both artists enjoy working in a very direct, hands on manner, gravitating to mediums that require use of working carefully in tandem, with hand tools.  Hamblin has spent years honing the ancient art from of paper cutting, a delicate and tedious practice that originated in 6th century China.  Regarded as an art form that requires careful forethought and concentration, Hamblin considers it therapeutic, utilizing the practice as focus and relaxation from her busy life style. Christopher Wagner is a sculptor who typically works with reclaimed wood that comes with its own history, imperfections from nail holes and past use become a part of his finished hand carved three dimensional forms. His love of wood as artistic medium developed early as he enjoyed carving/whittling with his grandfather on the family farm in Kentucky.   At a young age he delighted in the process of revealing something meaningful from a raw piece of wood.

Kim Hamblin of Sheridan, Oregon is a woman who wears many hats.  Besides being known throughout the northwest for her intricate paper-cut assemblages, she is also a farmer, realtor, music festival organizer, winemaker and mom. Hamblin resides on a 50 acre farm called Roshambo ArtFarm, located in the Willamette Valley where she and her husband keep pastures for rescue sheep, alpacas & chickens, they also maintain apple, quince and pear orchards, ferment cider & wine and host an annual music festival, the Wildwood MusicFest.  Her interests are vast but always connect in a meaningful way to her artistic endeavors.

Specific to her artwork, inspiration is gleaned from her lifelong love of the sciences; particularly anatomy, botany, biology, entomology and zoology. The focal point of her work is not merely subject matter and imagery, process also becomes quintessential to each finished piece.  Hamblin’s use and application of materials goes beyond traditional paper cut assemblage.  By adding painted surface and nails to further enhance tessellation and texture, Hamblin adds an industrial nature to the delicateness of pattern revealed in each paper cut. The juxtaposition between paper and steel make for a unique and striking finished composition.  For much of this series she limits her color scheme to a grayscale palette “to represent the disappearance of flora and fauna and subsequent vacancies left behind.” She also utilizes imagery of the human heart to represent ourselves and “how we can use love, appreciation and respect to shift our place in this world.”
 
About this series Hamblin states, “The complexity of nature is just beginning to be understood by us humans. We need to stop with the destruction of her for our convenience and civilization and devise new ways, like permaculture and the old ways like those of indigenous peoples, to bring back balance between mankind and the natural world.” She goes on to say “Nature is interdependent and does not exist in a vacuum, what happens to one species affects the other. Species depend on each other for survival. We need to stop poisoning ourselves and her. We need to change our farming practices. We need to protect Nature now and leave space for her whether it be a corner in your yard or protected forests, prairies and mountains. The disappearance of species and the species that rely on them has been happening since the industrial revolution and its escalating. Cue recent news stories:  the insect apocalypse, massive bird die offs, biological annihilation, massive fires, the warming of oceans; it’s hard to not get overwhelmed. I am just one person. Here is where I choose to begin, in the familiar, at the farm, in the art.”
 
Christopher Wagner, who grew up on a farm in rural Kentucky has held a strong interest in the symbiotic relationship between man and domesticated animal.  For his third exhibition at Imogen, he brings an impressive collection of figurative sculpture that explores through metaphor the longstanding relationship between man and beast, a connection that goes back to the beginning of mankind, forming a longstanding mutual reliance for survival between the two. Wagner directly and literally narrates the balance of that relationship, man leaning on animal and vice versa, sometimes through the perspective of the animal.
 
About this series he states, “My animal and human imagery bring into question our relationships with animals. Some of which are exploited others are protected. Many times that relationship can shift dramatically. All the animals I carve come from a personal connection or experience. The stylizations I use are intended to emphasize the spiritual or intellectual longings of humans. This can be seen in the elongation of limbs or the extending of necks meant to show a yearning to extend beyond ourselves.”
 
For Wagner, his process and choice of medium is integral to his finished work. The reclaimed wood he selects is chosen because of its past marks of time and history, adding a naturally aged appearance, not to be mimicked through immediacy. He utilizes traditional carving techniques to pull his imagery from the grain of the wood, incorporating any marks or scars into the finished composition. The piece is then finished with milk paint, one of the oldest forms of water based paint, made from milk, lime and raw pigments. Color is applied to define content and in many cases adding a level of approachability. Wagner has exhibited his work from coast to coast and many places in between. He possesses an M.F.A. in sculpture from Edinboro University and a B.A. in art with a dual concentration in history and sculpture from Georgetown College.
 

February 2020 Exhibit

February 2020 Exhibit
Corey Arnold

Fish Work: The Archives

With FisherPoets Gathering just around the corner, Imogen Gallery is pleased to be hosting Fish Work:  The Archives, an exhibition by professional artist/fisherman, Corey Arnold of Portland, Oregon.  This will be Arnold’s fourth exhibition at Imogen, held in conjunction with the 2020 FisherPoets Gathering. The Gathering, an annual celebration of the fishing community offers a glimpse into a very specific industry through stories and poetry written and recited by fisher folk. The exhibition opens February 8th for the Astoria Second Saturday Artwalk with a reception from 5 – 8 pm. The exhibition will remain on display through March 10th.

Corey Arnold began fishing as a child, about the same time he first picked up a camera. What began as weekend adventures with the family quickly became a permanent part of life, culminating into a successful dual career, one mutually supporting the other. This exhibition will include mostly work that has never been seen; a strong collection of photographs taken over the past 20 years that spans oceans and continents. Arnold began fishing commercially in 1995 as a deckhand aboard various vessels and skiffs in Alaska. His career as a fine art photographer and fisherman has taken him far, both documenting and fishing the world’s oceans. Despite his international success as a photographer, Arnold returns every summer to Bristol Bay, Alaska, where he captains a skiff, fishing for salmon.
Arnold’s work is without doubt a celebration of the lifestyle of the fisherman.  He also hopes to convey a broader message, raising awareness to the challenges that coastal communities and our oceans, are facing in the 21st century. Through his lens he captures the raw and rugged reality of hard work, with brutal and honest images that depict both danger and beauty, sometimes in the same moment. Corey is not one however to overly romanticize, he is critically aware of the struggle of a rapidly changing global fishing industry.

Regardless of present obstacles and demands on a struggling industry, Arnold states:  “Although it’s important to be aware of the challenges facing those who work at sea, the most essential message of all comes from the spirit of this way of life. Whether we are landlocked in the mountains, or out on a boat at sea, the hard work, passion, blood and guts of this profession speak to a vitality that I hope will inspire the viewer on his/her own personal journey.”
 
Arnold’s fine art photographic work runs deeper then capturing a lifestyle, he tackles environmental issues, food production and man’s complex relationship to the natural world, all on a global level. With a keen eye for composition, Arnold brings imagery that narrates the reality of contemporary culture from a perspective he knows best. About this series he states: 
 
Fish-Work is an ongoing series that explores life aboard commercial fishing boats around the world. This selection includes work from my experience at sea aboard pollock and factory trawlers in the Bering Sea, a multi-month tour of European fisheries, images from my seven years working on the deck of the Bering Sea crabber F/V Rollo, and Graveyard Point, the seasonal salmon fishing community in Bristol Bay, Alaska, where I captain a skiff every summer.
 
While the photographs celebrate the lifestyle of fishermen, it is also my intention to bring awareness to the 21st century challenges facing coastal communities and oceans alike. The global fishing industry is in a period of rapid change. Serious threats to small-scale fishing communities include fleet consolidation due to catch shares, poorly managed fisheries abroad, ocean acidification, fish farming, and watershed destruction due to urban development, mining and pollution. Closest to home for me is the proposed Pebble Mine in the headwaters of Bristol Bay, Alaska. Backed by billions of dollars of foreign corporate investment, the Pebble Mine could be one of the largest open-pit copper mines in the world placed in the richest sockeye salmon watershed on earth.

Arnold, who graduated from the University of Art Academy in San Francisco has enjoyed a diverse and exciting career. His ongoing series Fish-Work was launched after receiving a commission from the PEW Charitable Foundation, taking him to Europe and photographing from aboard fishing vessels in eight European countries. He has also been awarded an American Scandinavian Foundation grant which lead to the documentation of the work of fishermen in Northern Norway.  His work has been exhibited in Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York as well as numerous other venues worldwide, and published in Harpers, The New Yorker, New York Times LENS, Art Ltd, Rolling Stone, Time, Outside, National Geographic, Mare and The Paris Review among others. He is a recent recipient of a Hallie Ford Foundation Fellowship, a National Geographic Explorer Storytelling Grant and the first place award winner for the nature category of the World Press Review’s annual photography competition. Arnold has published two books of photography by Nazraeli Press including Fish-Work: The Bering Sea, and Fishing with My Dad. He is represented by Charles A. Hartman Fine Art in Portland, Oregon.